The latest proposal, which is an 11 percent increase over AbbVie's previous one, "should help get both parties closer to negotiating a final offer,'' Miehm
, the RBC Capital analyst, wrote in a note Tuesday to clients.
Miehm believes the market had expected a first quarter event but he anticipates that the transaction will be finalized within the next several weeks.
In Miehm's view, the consolidation of the final piece of the vernakalant puzzle is a positive event for Cardiome as it firmly underscores Merck's interest in the drug, Merck is a more capable R&D partner in the space verus Astellas, the clinical trial path to approval should be handled in a more strategic manner by Merck and he believes it would show a strong level of commitment to the oral program as well.
In addition to the likely Merck/Astellas event, Miehm believes there will be several other milestones over the next 12 months that could prove to be positive catalysts.